Ruby Fashion shoot

Bring the creature to life

This is Ruby Soho.

Most likely to be seen: On the back of a giant scrap metal stag beetle or riding a suburban commuter train, unapologetically, with a massive bag of horse shit.

Least likely to say: “better not, something might go wrong”

I’ve known Ruby for a long time now. Just after I met her she bought a tiny plastic boat, moved onto it and spent all year fibreglassing it into the shape of a giant fish. She was the talk of the canal, and it was all just for the love of it.

She didn’t care if she looked stupid (she didn’t, not to me anyway) She just wanted to make her creative dream real. She has ridiculous ideas, and unlike most of us, entertains them. Ruby stares failure in the face and laughs like a drain.

I’ve worked with her a lot. – Carrying 10 ft long crab claws down the towpath for what seemed like miles, driving her mobile Tin Church venue across the country, revelling in the double takes as I swayed (I still believe, legally,) along the road to Winchester. I’ve photographed her many times for my own projects and other peoples and she never, ever disappoints me.

On Topsy Ann, for my boaters project, she rose to the occasion, flouncing around in a ball gown with Bo Diddly, her sad-eyed dog. Modelling corsets, acting the hippy for stock shoots, or welding together a giant biplane out of junk, she has the audacity to think the impossible.

In fact, she is the master of it.

She lives in a 7.5 ton truck even though she can’t drive a car. She has built stages in the shapes of dragons, and kept historic boats afloat when they really shouldn’t be.

Risking ridicule, facing failure, making it up where there is no precedent, Ruby stands for all that is good about the arts. Its not about recognition or money, or fame. We only have this one life, so we do it anyway.

Because we can.

From time to time the world needs to be reminded of this. In a well functioning country the arts would be funded – to bring us together and to remind us who we are and why we bother at all.

We don’t live in a place like that right now, but we still need to see a giant stage in the shape of a beating human heart, stomping through the crowd, swallowing acrobats and musicians and assimilating them to transform itself in the mother of all finales. If you don’t think you need to see it, you’re not imagining hard enough.

The kickstarter campaign has 14 days to run and if they don’t reach their target the Marie Celestial won’t happen (although of course, in true Ruby style she has already built a large chunk of it out of her own pocket.)

Have a look, feel excited, maybe pull your wallet out.

Make the creature come to life.

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This post was written by Vik

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